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5 Things to Read Before Trading Today

February 24, 2010 by World Market Media   Comments (0)

From the Desk of Lou Brien

  1. Stocks were down across most of Asia, with the exception of Shanghai which managed a gain of 1.3%. But the Hang Seng lost three quarters of a percent and both the Nikkei and Australia were down about 1.5%. Europe is mixed with the Dax currently trading unchanged and the Footsie a fraction higher. US stock futures are essentially unchanged as I write. 
  2. The January report on Japan's Merchandise Trade Balance showed that exports increased at the fastest pace in almost thirty years, up 40.9% from a year ago. Sales abroad gave Japan a trade surplus of 85.2 billion yen in January, beating the estimate for a 136 billion yen trade deficit.  The final Q4 reading of German GDP was unrevised at 0.0% on a quarter on quarter basis.
  3. US mortgage applications were down 8.5% in the week ended February 19, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association; that's the third decline in a row and the fourth drop in five weeks.  The January reading of New Home Sales is due out at 9:00am CST, it is expected to show a monthly increase of 3.5% to an annualized rate of 354k units. 
  4. Fed Chairman Bernanke is scheduled to deliver the semi-annual testimony on the economy and monetary policy before the House Committee on Financial Services at 9:00am CST.  Treasury Secretary Geithner is scheduled to testify on the 2011 budget proposal before the House Budget Committee at 9:00am CST. 
  5. The weekly report on energy inventories is due out at 9:30am CST. Stocks of Crude Oil are forecast to increase 1.9 million barrels, inventories of Gasoline are expected to gain 600k and the estimate for Distillates is -1.5 million.  The Treasury plans to sell $42 billion 5 Year Notes today, the results will be announced just after noon CST.

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